What sounds like an update for a PowerPoint presentations is actually a rather fun instructional guide for bank robbers.
Tristan Patterson's Electric Slide tells the story of one Eddie Dodson (Jim Sturgess), a well-dressed, rather charismatic Los Angelican who bit off more than he could chew - though not initially - when he fell for.. money.
Dodson's antique store does well, but his expenditure far outweighs the profits. Blame that on the guy's hunger for partying and drugs - a habit that's escalated quickly. None of the various beauties Dodson partakes with are much help to his monetary situation, so he turns to loan sharks.
When the goons start breathing down his neck for the money he owes, Dodson comes to the conclusion that there's no option for him but to steal. Equipped with a killer smile, and a polite and charming demeanor that's a hit with the ladies (including bank tellers), Dodson kicks off his very successful career as a bank robber.
As Dodson, Sturgess (Across the Universe) displays fitting confidence and charisma, and although his performance is a little sleepish at times - lacking the command or power that a bigger star might have offered in the same part - he manages to convince. Female lead Isabel Lucas (Red Dawn) is better, painting - via her wayward Pauline, the chic Hollywood girl who falls for Dodson - the perfect portrait of the many lost girls that find themselves circling their own tails in Tinseltown.
French action icon Christopher Lambert is fun as of the crooks Dodson crosses, while Will McCormack steals his scenes as a clueless cop.
While she's credited with a starring role in the marketing materials, recent Oscar Winner Patricia Arquette is only seen briefly. But In her small role, Arquette overshadows her lesser experienced co-stars, boosting the film from good to great in select moments; also fun, her character here echoing one of her most famous characters, True Romance's danger-seeking damsel Alabama.
A star in it's own right is the production design - the film's Los Angeles has been decked out toe-to-top with splashy, vivacious colors and props that transport the viewer back to the 1980's. A great soundtrack, featuring music by the likes of Iggy Pop and Depeche Mode, also helps the scene.
With a bigger budget and a more powerful actor playing the lead (Ewan McGregor was originally set to play Dodson), Electric Slide could've played as good as it looks. Like another back-story on an '80s icon, 54 (1998), emphasis seems to have been style over substance. Still, despite how thin some of it's parts are, it's still a fun movie - bursting with energy, packed with great music, and featuring some great work from Lucas. Furthermore, the film isn't half as embarrassing as the dance of the same name.
Electric Slide begins at cinemas April 3, with an On Demand release due for the same date.